Archive for September, 2015

61 to 66 to 66 Turn Signal/Brake Light Problems

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015
61-66 Turn Signal Switch

61-66 Turn Signal Switch

Note hook tangs on side

Note hook tangs on side

I get at least two phone calls a week concerning massive problems with 61 to 66 turn signals and/or brake light problems.  It’s like your system went nuts!  And you know what?  It did!  OK, lets solve your problem…..first off, you need to crawl under your dash and find your turn signal switch.  No, it’s not under your steering wheel.  Your turn signal lever just moves a cable that runs down your column to the switch.  It is located about 5/8ths of the way down your column on the top of the tube.  The switch closest to the dash is your neutral safety starter switch and your back up light switch (same switch IF your car is a column shift).  If your car is a floor shift, the only other switch is your turn signal switch.  It has a pyramid shaped plug with a number of wires.  Carefully unplug it.  Now, using a 5/16ths nut driver or ratchet/socket, remove the two sheet metal bolts holding the switch to the tube.  Then, slide the switch up towards the dash off the looped wire (look on the back to see).  It should not be loose in your hand.  Cruise on over to your work bench and notice that there are four fold-up tabs, two on each side of the switch.  CAREFULLY fold these tabs back to separate the switch into two pieces.  NOW you will see your problem….when these switches were assembled, Pontiac used white lithium grease to provide lubrication for the contacts to slide when you moved the turn signal lever.  After 50+ years, these once pliable grease has turned into hard crap, forcing the contacts to go all kinds of wrong places.  Thus your system going nuts!  Get some good electrical contact cleaner and completely clean the inside area of both pieces.  While it’s air drying, trot over to O’Reilly Auto Parts and pick up a small package of di-electric grease (usually up front on the parts counter).  It’s clear and used for electrical connections.  I use it on my snow plow plugs.  Now, take a small pick with a 90 degree bend and carefully pull up on the spring loaded contacts.  You MUST be careful not to pull them too far.  Maybe a 16th of an inch.  Once all are done, now take and wipe a thin film of grease over the contacts, both sides.  DO NOT glob a lot of grease in here.  Carefully re-assemble the switch the same way it came apart.  Fold the four tabs up as these are only good for a couple of times being bent.  Slide the post on the back of the switch back and forth to make sure nothing is binding up.  Re-install the switch on the column making sure the post goes thru the loop on the cable coming out of the column (centered).  Be careful not to over-tighten the two 5/16ths bolts.  Now, plug the harness back in and try your signals and brake lights.  You should be in business.  I have never seen one of these switches fail in service except for the reason above.  Pretty durable.  The same switch was also used on 61 to 66 full size Chevys.  LK  9-29-2015

Minnesota Car Guys Beware!

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

It should be stated that the following is in my opinion:  Stay away from C & E Auto Upholstery in Savage, MN.  I had my 1964 Blue Catalina 2 door sedan interior install at C & E.  Have never been happy with a number of items…headliner, door panels and other issues.  I provided a decent 64 front seat for the car however the owner, Tom, demanded the seat be sand blasted, power coated and completely redone.  Imagine my surprise when I recently removed the seat after 10 years, to 4 speed my car and found that the wire that runs from one side of the seat to the other to release the seat tracks, was NEVER installed on my seat.  I had to manually release the passengers side of my seat to access the bolts.  I called C & E and asked to speak to Tom (who is always busy on the phone).  I left a message and as usual, no return call.  This wasn’t something that broke or wore out.  This was a complete failure to finish my seat in the first place.  I am still cleaning headliner glue from my interior 10 years now.  My door panels fit like crap (came from SMS in Canby, OR, another flake outfit), my carpet is glued down in some areas where it shouldn’t be and not in areas where it should be.  One more item….I provided a new car set of tar paper to replace the original tar paper in the car.  They did not remove the original tar paper, they just glued the new stuff right over the old stuff.  And let me tell you, they glued the shit out of everything.  WAY TOO MUCH SPRAY GLUE.  It took me 2+ hours just to get my carpet pulled up enough to install my shifter porch.  The more I dig into my interior, the madder I get.  There are a lot of upholstery shops in the Twin Cities.  This is one to stay away from.  Don’t like the workmanship, nor do I like the attitude of the owner.   Once again, this is in my opinion, which I am entitled to under the First Amendment.  Thanks!  LK  9-29-2015